[Histonet] importing tissue blocks into the USA

Tyrone Genade tgenade <@t> gmail.com
Sat Jun 15 06:20:57 CDT 2013


I have a box of tissue blocks which I want to take with me to my new lab in
the USA. The tissue was fixed in Bouin's Fluid or Davidson's Fixative and
then set in wax for sectioning.

I have contacted US Customs who said this is an issue for the EPA. I
contacted the EPA and they said that because this is for R&D there is an
exception of some kind allowing me to import the blocks. I then asked them
what forms I need to complete so that the blocks are cleared on arrival
(i.e. Customs knows this is the EPA's business and the EPA knows its for
R&D and I don't get fined or tossed in prison). The EPA then referred me to
their website (or several pages on it) and have now three times not
answered my direct questions of "is there a form" and "which form is it?"
(I wonder if the person on the other end of the TSCA hotline knows

I can't figure out what the inventory (
has to do with anything; and the TSCA Import & Export Requirements (
http://www.epa.gov/oppt/import-export/) also doesn't answer my questions
(given above).

Has anyone ever had to import samples for analysis and would you care to
tell me what hoops I have to jump through and forms need to be filled in?
The EPA does seem to go out of it way to be unclear and difficult. :-(

Tyrone the Perplexed
Department of Human Biology
University of Cape Town

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